Sébastien Bras who runs the three Michelin star restaurant Le Suquet restaurant in Laguiole, France has announced that the Michelin Guide has accepted his request to remove the restaurant from its 2018 selection for France.
“I would like to thank them for accepting my decision,” the French chef wrote on his Facebook page.
“I will now open a new chapter in my professional life without the Michelin stars but with the same passion for cooking. We will continue, together with our team, to ensure that our customers experience the magic of the Aubrac in our restaurant with the same quest for excellence. We are actively preparing for the annual reopening of the restaurant on 5 April with a lot of entusiasm and we are also working on a number of different projects,” he said.
Sebastien Bras’s Le Suquet restaurant in southern France held Michelin’s three-star rating for 18 years.
In September last year, he announced that he wanted to give away the three stars because he did not want to cook under the pressure of being judged by the Michelin inspectors.
This is the first ever time that Michelin has allowed a restaurant to bow out.
“It is difficult for us to have a restaurant in the guide which does not wish to be in it,” Michelin spokesperson Claire Dorland Clauzel is quoted to have told AFP news agency. She said other restaurants had dropped out when chefs retired or the concept had changed.
In September he said that he had reflected on a quote and it captures my current spirit to focus on what is essential in life. “I want to give a new meaning to my professional and personal life away from the constraints and pressures,” the world renowned chef said.
The French chef that he took the decision together with his family. “I took over the restaurant from my father 10 years ago and the restaurant has been a source of great satisfaction for us. Since 1999 we have three Michelin stars but this has also put us under a lot of pressure,” he said.
Bras added that while he is grateful for Michelin, today he wants to be free, to cook serenely and continue to innovate and serve his guests without any pressures or constraints.
“I am therefore asking Michelin to remove the stars for their 2018 guide and also not to give me any stars in future,” he said.
“For me, it is time to close a chapter and reopen one where I get out of this race and competition and focus on just satisfying our clients, working with my team to showcase our region with the objective of our team remaining the pursuit of excellence,” he said.
Bras is one of only 27 French chefs who hold top rankings in the Michelin restaurant guide. In 2005 Paris restaurateur Alain Senderens shocked the culinary world by giving back his three stars, claiming that diners were turned off by excessive luxury. He reopened the restaurant under another name, with a simpler menu at a fraction of his old prices.
In 2008, three-star chef Olivier Roellinger closed his luxury restaurant in the Breton fishing village of Cancale, saying he wanted a quieter life.